Is Timing Everything? – Why The Time Your Staff Arrives Isn’t Important.

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Is the time your staff arrives to work important.  That depends, doesn’t it always depend? But yes it depends.  If they have customer facing entry level jobs then it does matter, they have to be there at the time they’re supposed to be there or customers aren’t served, doors aren’t opened, shifts aren’t changed and the system falls down.  However if what they do is primarily mental mid to upper management then I challenge anyone that believes it’s better to monitor time than performance.  Arrival and departure time is no more a measure of productivity than skin colour is a measure of sun exposure; it’s totally hit or miss.

Here’s a study by Dan Pink about Motivation from his book Drive, astounding.

In addition to above, my experience has always been that the more you empower people to perform and make them feel that what they’re doing is important instilling a sense of pride, you get a natural tendency towards going above and beyond.  Which could mean many things including early arrival, if that’s when their brain works the best.  Any staff member at mid management that has to be monitored on a minute-by-minute basis either has a lack of understanding or feeling of control of their area of concern or is a poor fit for the role. Focusing on measurable achievement on the other hand is something that can be relied upon.  Is that fool proof, not by any means but neither is monitoring arrival. Some people arrive early and leave late to avoid traffic but spend their whole day social slacking on Facebook. What’s important is to set the expectation and explain any stringent time requirements.  As an employer and as a parent I’ve always found that the more you treat people like children the more they reach your minimum expectation. In both instances they are problems that you as the person in charge have to solve, but in my opinion, punching the clock isn’t the solution.


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